By Wayne Gates –
Two new ambulances are now serving Mr. Orab and four surrounding townships.
The units also have self-lifting cots that are designed to hold heavier patients. The total cost for the ambulances and cots was just over $545,000.
“It was important to us not only to have the safety of new vehicles, but to also have safety for our staff members in lifting patients,” said Mt. Orab Fire Chief Lisa Reeves.
“The average weight of patients seems to be going up. We are responding to patients that can weigh up to 400 pounds. Our old equipment wasn’t really up to being able to safely handle these types of patients.”
The funding for the project began last March with a $433,810 Local Government Safety Capitol Grant from the state for the ambulances. The grant required a $50,000 match, which came from $10,000 each from the Mt. Orab Village Council; Green Township Trustees; Pike Township Trustees; Scott Township Trustees; and Sterling Township Trustees.
The Mt. Orab Fire Department was also awarded a $40,000 grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation for the cots. Another $22,009 in matching funds was added, making the grant total $62,009.
Reeves said the new cots will cut down on work-related injuries suffered by first responders.
“It put a lot of extra strain on our firefighters and EMT’s to try to lift these patients. We applied for this grant because we want our patients to be comfortable and we want our staff to be safe moving them,” Reeves said.
She said the new cots will benefit the patients as well.
“There were times on the old cots where we were not able to put the side rails up, which is a safety hazard for the patients. The new cots are wider, they are more comfortable, the mattresses are thicker. It makes the patient a lot more comfortable as well,” Reeves said.
She added that the local match money for the grant came from funds already set aside for public safety.
“This was already money that was earmarked for the fire departments through the tax levies. We were able to use funds that already existed instead of having to find additional funds,” Reeves said.
She added that being able to work together with local townships was critical in being eligible for the Local Government Safety Capital Grant.
“This is just one example of the cooperative efforts between the village and the townships to ensure critical infrastructure is afforded to all the residents and visitors of our area,” Reeves said.
“These leaders should be commended on their commitment to the safety of our community.”